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From the landline to the cell phone: Calls are often expensive

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The telephone tariff structure of many landline providers will seem outdated in 2023: Calls from landline to cell phone cost up to 22 cents per minute without an additional fee-based option – that is considerably more than telephone calls within the EU. This is shown by a current market analysis by the comparison portal Verivox.

Flat rates are the exception

Many mobile phone tariffs – the so-called all-network flat rates – now include a flat rate for calls to all German landline and mobile networks. With landline telephone tariffs, however, free calls to German mobile networks are the exception. If such a mobile phone flat rate is offered at all, additional monthly costs of up to 14.95 euros per month will be incurred. Apart from that, the price per minute is currently between 9.8 and 21.9 cents. Exception: O2 does not charge for domestic German cell phone calls.

“Calls to German mobile networks have to be paid extra for almost all flat-rate fixed-line tariffs. The only exception is the O2 portfolio and individual tariffs in the upper price segment,” says Jens-Uwe Theumer, Vice President Telecommunications at Verivox. “Minute-based billing is no longer up-to-date, especially at this rate. The costs for calls to mobile phones have remained almost unchanged for many years.”

Costs of 20 cents per minute to mobile phones are common

At 21.9 cents, calls to German mobile networks are the most expensive with the cable provider Pyur. Vodafone, 1&1, EWE and M-net charge 19.9 cents per minute. 19 cents are charged for Telekom (except for the XL tariff) and Netcologne. Thüringer Netkom charges mobile phone calls at 17 cents, they are significantly cheaper with Easybell at 9.8 cents per minute. Only O2 is out of line: Since October 2022, calls to the mobile network have been included in all landline tariffs at no extra charge.

Tariff structure of landline providers is outdated

Common mobile phone flat rates cover calls to all German networks, but not international calls: International calls via the mobile network often cost 20 cents per minute or more, even to the cheapest countries. In the fixed network, such calls usually only cost a tenth of the mobile phone price – but fixed network calls to the German mobile network usually cost as much as a mobile call to Spain or Italy, for example.

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“It’s hard to understand that in 2023 consumers will still have to consider which connections they should call best with which device,” says Theumer. “Because the telephone minute is no longer a decisive cost factor for network operators. Successful telephone services such as Skype, Facetime or Whatsapp, on the other hand, have a very simple tariff structure: only the data volume of the mobile phone tariff is used. Many calls are possible without additional costs.”

methodology

Verivox has researched the prices for calls to German mobile phone networks from ten major German landline and Internet providers (Telekom, Vodafone, O2, 1&1, M-net, Pyur, EWE, Netcologne, Netkom and Easybell). These cover over 90 percent of the fixed network market. Status of the data: 07/24/2023.
Price examples from mobile phones to other EU countries: Vodafone and O2 29 cents per minute, Telekom 22 cents. Most expensive flat rate in mobile phone networks: Netkom Thuringia (14.95 euros).

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